WIRED: The Good, the Bad, and the Unmissable: Top Amazon Prime Day Shopping Tips from Amazon, Microsoft, Razer, Google, and more
Is this another Amazon Prime Day sale? Don’t refer to it as Prime Day Part 2. This one has been dubbed the Prime Early Access Sale. Whatever the name, the game is the same, and the WIRED team has sifted through all the deals—the good, the bad, and the unmissable. These are our top picks from the likes of Samsung, Microsoft, Razer, Google, and more.
The WIRED Gear team tests products all year long. We made these picks by hand from hundreds of thousands of deals. Crossed-out products are out of stock or no longer discounted. The Prime Day shopping tips will help you avoid bad deals. You can also get a 1-year subscription to WIRED for $5 here.
Top 10 Best Amazon Prime Day Laptops in the Lenovo ThinkPad Flex 5i: An Ultra-Low-Cost Chrome OS Powerhouse
The Surface Laptop range may not be as stylish as some of the brand’s flashy, flexible, transforming sets, but most people just need a laptop. The best Surface to use is our pick. Microsoft’s flagship laptop is now under $1,000 and offers 16 GB of RAM and 256 GB of SSD storage. This week, Microsoft will hold a Surface hardware event where we might see a successor.
With consoles like the Xbox Series S, Nintendo Switch, and Steam Deck around, gaming laptops can look pretty expensive. But if you want strong PC specs and a great display in a portable package, they remain the only option. This Dell G15 offers all this at almost $300 off. It has an Intel Core i9-9900K gaming chip, 16 billion transistors, 512-gigabyte Solid State Drive, and a niggardly expensive Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card, all of which make it ideal for mid-tier PC gaming.
The Acer Nitro 5 (8/10, WIRED Recommends) has long been one of the best cheap gaming laptops around, offering a great screen and typing experience for a reasonable price. A simple build is all this model has. There are plenty of ports too. It is hard to find a better performance-to-value ratio outside of this price range.
The 14-inch Pavilion machine from HP is an appealing option if you want a cheap laptop with some added flexibility. The 11th-Gen Intel Core i5 is included with this sale’s discount. It’s a good combo for productivity users, such as students. The laptop is more comfortable because of the 360-hinge.
There are many people who will want to push the Chromebooks hard and they may be slated as light web work. For that, the IdeaPad Flex 5i is our top choice for a ChromeOS powerhouse in our Best Chromebooks guide. The Intel Core i3 and 8 GB of RAM are more than enough to get a lot of performance from a Chromebook, with options for lower-powered Celeron chips and often 4 GB RAM. The display offers a scratch resistant finish to ward off reflections.
The Lowest Price You’ve Ever Seeed: The Combo Touch on the 11-Inch iPad Pros and the Amazon Fire HD 8 Series
The Combo Touch from Logitech is compatible with a variety of 11-inch iPad Pro generations. It’s one of our favorite ways to get some light work done because it adds a keyboard and a trackpad. The case is slim and the keys are good to type on, but the keyboard can be taken off if you don’t need it.
The M1 processor found in the iPad Air makes it the most powerful tablet for the money because it is the same as those found in the iPad Pro and MacBook Air. This price is the lowest we’ve ever seen.
This is a good deal on our current favorite iPad for most people. The lowest price we’ve seen is this one. The iPad has been updated over the past three years. There is a new model on the way and it is possible that it will be on sale on Black Friday.
Amazon recently debuted a new Fire HD 8, which is available for preorder, but if you’re in the market for a cheap tablet, this 2020 model is still a good deal. The smaller format makes the Fire HD 8 series almost as capable as the larger one. It’s portable enough to take with you anywhere, and its screen won’t torture your eyes when you watch Netflix. You can even use our guide to install the Google Play Store, which makes it much more capable than it is out of the box.
The Best Cheap Phone was also earned by the AdWords 6A, a phone that we think is one of the best in the market. The lowest deal we have seen is this one. Even when it’s not on sale, the Pixel 6A offers incredible value, with great performance, excellent cameras, impressive battery life, and a nice display. If you’re in the market for a new smartphone, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better deal than this. The Pixel 6 Pro is also discounted to $649 ($250 off) if you want a bigger device and better cameras.
This is the lowest price we’ve ever seen on the S22 Ultra (9/10, WIRED Recommends). This device has an S Pen built in, so it’s great for doodling or writing notes. It also has a 10x optical zoom camera, so you can take stunningly sharp pictures from far away.
It costs a fortune. But it folds. And believe it or not, that extra screen real estate really is nice. Thanks to its improved multitasking, a bigger screen is easier for life on a bigger screen. The battery life is good, and you get a bright, smooth screen—no crease on the fold.
The smaller of Samsung’s folding phones, the Z Flip4 feels like a “normal” phone when it’s unfolded, but fold it up and it’ll slip into some small pockets. It’s almost like a StarTak, but with a real screen. You will get through the day with the help of the battery. Still, if you’ve been wanting a folding phone, this deal is the cheapest we’ve seen.
This OnePlus phone (7/10, WIRED Recommends) is speedy, has a bright 120-Hz screen refresh rate, and has a pretty good software support window. Its cameras aren’t quite as good as some of the newer ones. The cost is still higher than the device that was just announced.
The TVs of this caliber come at a hefty price, but this is a significant discount for one of the best TVs you can buy. If you have a large family and a home with lots of windows, this might be the move. It also has a 120-Hz refresh rate for gamers looking to get the most out of their consoles.
If you want to upgrade your television setup, one of our favorite soundbars is now under $200. The Signa S4 is our top package if you’re looking to grab both a soundbar and a subwoofer. The combo offers Dolby Atmos, HDMI ARC, as well as customization modes to get the right vibe. The addition of a subwoofer makes this ideal for when you want big sound, whether it’s a house party or your fave action flick.
A few years ago you could not find earbuds with noise canceling for less than $200. You can get a Space A40 for half the price with good sound, massive battery life, and tons of extras. The design looks nicer than it appears, even though it is cheaper than the price suggests.
Stick with Sony, if you’re after the best overall headphones. The WH-1000XM5 (9/10, WIRED Recommends) sound amazing, has great noise cancellation, and are just plain comfortable to wear.
One place the buds muck up the grade curve is their massive battery. You can get 10 hours of back up, with four full recharged in the case for 50 hours total. Even though it is quieter, I still time my time to 40 hours, besting expensive flagships from Apple, Amazon, and more.
The Best Smartwatches, Apple Watch Series 8, and Other Upgrades for the Prime Day Laptop Tv Phones Tech Deals 2022
The T7 Shield is currently cheaper than the LaCie Rugged SSD and is our favorite alternative for a rugged drive. It’ll bat away dust and water with an IP65 rating and is rated to survive drops up to 9.8 feet. If you would like to spend a bit more, there are other sizes available.
Our Best Smartwatch guide gave us a good reason to like the TicWatch’s top battery life. The Wear OS 3 update is slated to be released later this year. It’s responsive, delivers notifications, counts steps, and features 24/7 heart-rate monitoring, all with an AMOLED display and two-day battery life. There’s a new TicWatch Ultra and a new Wearable Chips from the same company.
The Apple Watch Series 8 is our favorite Apple Watch, it’s already on sale. (The 41-mm version is also on sale for $349.) Most people will be fine with the new second-generation Watch SE, but this model includes an electrocardiogram, an always-on display, a skin temperature sensor for better period tracking, a more accurate heart-rate monitor, and the ability to measure blood oxygen levels. Check our Best Apple Watch Accessories guide for additional recommendations.
The Space A40: An All-Inclusive Work-from-Home Label Printer for the Wireless earbuds Age of Portable Listening
This label printer is great for saving money on shipping since it features in our all-inclusive work-from- home guide. This printer avoids the regular hassle of having to use ink, using heat instead. You’ll find helpful instructions for getting the correct size of your label once you have printed it correctly.
Many stores are competing with each other for shoppers, with deals that don’t require an Amazon Prime membership. Here’s a list of merchants that may be getting in on the action.
The golden age of TV is a renaissance brought on by the streaming era, which is sadly on the decline. It might not bring us another Better Call Saul but there is a golden age of the wireless earbud market that is still very much shimmering in A/V.
The A40 lacks a few conveniences, like auto-pause, and the controls can be a little inconsistent. But with great performance in a surprisingly affordable package, the Space A40 are one of the best bargains in this golden age of portable listening.
Even as earbuds shrink, the A40 stand out for their large size and good looks. The pill-shaped case feels good in your hands and is ready to use. The lid has three LEDs that meet the base and give it a premium air.
There are plastic terminals on the inside that hold earbuds, with a matt finish on the outside for the controls. The weight of 5 grams per side is less than the unofficial baseline for buds that disappear in your ears after a few minutes.
The Space A40 do just that, and the fit is relatively stable. I was also able to do all my usual activities with only a small adjustment since I use five sizes of ear tips. Those looking for better stability and waterproofness may wish to consider jumping up to the Jabra’s Elite 4 Active, because their IPX4 water resistance is not dunkable and they do not vibrate on a jog.
The Space A40 let you customize just about everything. The fit should start with the reassignable touchpads in the Soundcore app. You don’t need to open your phone to control it, because they give you near-comprehensive control.
It is possible to do a few rapid single taps to ramp up the jams, if you want, but you have to assign volume in the app. I am not a fan of the hold command, which takes hours to cycles through noise canceling and transparency mode and it’s really just a couple of seconds.